Looking Forward: More Speed, Syncing with Usernames, Better Notifications
We’ve been quiet lately; there’s been a lot to work on behind the scenes! Here’s a post from our lead programmer, Zane Claes, about some new back-end technical improvements that will be coming soon. These improvements will improve the user experience for the mobile app and, soon afterwards, the browser extension, and will also pave the way to our eventual Android app in the near future. Without further ado—
We’ve had something big in the works now: our new API.
If that sounds a bit mysterious, I’ll try to explain what it means here. Think of the API like the man-behind-the-curtain who pulls the string of Streamified. When you want to get a new stream, post an update, etc. then your Streamified app is connecting to our API.
So what’s so great about the new API, and why did we need it? First, our old API was built on antiquated technologies and was a bit slow. More than just speed, the new API lets us do some really cool things that we could not do before.
Instead of explaining, though, it will probably be easier to show. This is the latest beta version of the iOS app, which I am currently working on. When you first launch Streamified, you’ll now be required to choose a username.
After choosing a username, the app will ask you to sign in to at least one social network. This not only helps you jump right into Streamified, but the social network login acts to protect your Streamified username. When you set up Streamified elsewhere, you’ll need to log in to the same account to log in to your Streamified username.
Now that we’re up and running, there are a few immediately obvious changes. For example, if I had previously setup this username on a different device (say, my iPad) then I would immediately have access to all of the same streams and data. My bookmarks, blogs, social networks, etc. are all automatically synchronized from my account:
Creating a unified experience has always been our main goal with Streamified, and now it is a reality. Bookmarking a post on the iPhone and having it be instantly available on my iPad or in the browser extension means that I can use Streamified on-the-go even more effectively to keep track of my streams.
But it doesn’t end there. We’re packing lots of new features into this version of the app, including a long requested one: the ability to look only at specific sub-streams, like only a Facebook page or only a Twitter list.
We’re also using a new engine for displaying content from our supported blogs, meaning you’ll see much more complete articles, better formatted for reading in Streamified. Check out this post from blog and podcast guest the Bad Astronomer, which contains not only the image and link to the original article, but the entire original blog article well-formatted and easy to read on the iPhone:
We’re also completely revamping our notification system. We’ve sent about 700,000 push notifications to app users so far, and it seems time to improve their quality. Previously, you could only receive push notifications when a stream was updated. Now, we’ll let you subscribe specifically to “when I am mentioned on Twitter” or “when there is a new blog post from the Bad Astronomer.” Furthermore, you can also now receive the notifications via email. In your account settings, you’re able to configure an email address and choose when (or if) you wish to receive summaries.
For example, I could choose to receive an email every day with all my @mentions and new blog posts. Again, this is completely optional.
We’re really excited about these upcoming improvements and hope you are too. Again, while the screenshots in this post are taken from an iOS build, our new API and the above improvements will also find their way quickly to the browser extension, too, and our future Android app.
Are you interested in trying out Streamified, either in the browser or on a mobile app? Go to our website and check us out!